Different Types of Type8:11 with Hope Armstrong
Type comes in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own voice and personality. We’ll explore a few typefaces along with their letterforms to see the genres recognized today.
Now, let's look at the different classifications or types of typefaces. 0:00 You might be wondering why is this important? 0:05 Can't I just find something I like and use it? 0:09 Well, I'm glad you asked. 0:12 Knowing different type genres will help you choose a proper typeface for 0:16 the products at hand. 0:19 And make you a better designer. 0:21 For instance, if you're working with a client who wants the mood of their 0:23 site to convey eloquence, you need to know what classes or 0:28 styles of typefaces lean towards that bent. 0:32 Or if you're designing a site that's heavily influenced by a certain 0:35 time period, you should utilize a typeface that would have 0:39 been appropriate to genres at that time. 0:42 As I mentioned earlier, typefaces have a mood or personality. 0:45 The way the characters look conveys a message to the reader. 0:51 Knowing these genres will help up us see how our type is talking and 0:54 what makes it distinct. 0:58 So without further ado, let's dive in. 1:01 Type has been classified in different ways over the years, but for 1:05 simplicity's sake, we'll look at three major genres. 1:09 Serif, sans-serifs, and scripts, along with their sub-genres. 1:13 Up first, we'll look at serif typefaces. 1:18 Like we learned from out terminology, typefaces can have serifs on their 1:21 letter forms, and this would place them in the serif genre. 1:25 Simple enough, but within this genre, 1:30 we have a number of nuances that will set apart different serifs into sub-genres. 1:32 The sub-genres we'll be covering are Humanist, 1:38 Old Style, Transitional, Didone, and Slab. 1:42 After the invention of the printing press in 1450, logically, 1:47 the creation of typefaces shortly followed. 1:51 Humanist typefaces arose around the 1460s and 1:54 1470s with strong calligraphic influence. 1:59 Printers were creating typefaces based on the strokes of a pen when drawing 2:02 letter forms. 2:06 They tend to have diagonal stress, lower stroke contrast, and 2:07 a relatively small x-height. 2:12 Serifs are not as refined. 2:13 These are not as common today, but some examples are Jansen, Kennerley, 2:17 and Centaur. 2:22 Old Style came about next in the latter part of the 15th century. 2:24 The letter forms were getting more refined as type and 2:29 less influenced by calligraphy. 2:32 We see less diagnose stress happening, and 2:35 the serifs have also changed to be more wedge-like. 2:37 Some examples include Goudy Old Style, Palatino, Perpetua, and Plantin. 2:41 This brings us to the 18th century where we see transitional typefaces on the rise. 2:48 The trend of decreasing calligraphic flow continues. 2:54 And here, we have vertical stress, thinner and flatter serifs, 2:58 along with exaggerated contrast between thicks and thins. 3:02 Some examples include Baskerville, Bookman, and Clearface ITC. 3:06 Next, we have Didone typefaces arriving in the late 18th century. 3:12 The influence of the pen is really nowhere to be found. 3:17 The serifs have become even thinner without any sign of bracketing. 3:21 Contrast is taken to the extreme with thick verticals and 3:26 ultra thin horizontals. 3:30 You might regard these typefaces as reminiscent of the high fashion culture. 3:33 They work great at large sizes with ample amounts of white spaces around them. 3:38 But as body copy at small sizes, their serifs and 3:43 horizontals can quickly get lost. 3:47 Some examples include Bodoni and Didot. 3:50 Now, we'll head in the opposite direction with Slab serifs that 3:54 have extremely thick slab-like serifs and low contrast. 3:58 These came about in the early 19th century and were heavily used for 4:03 headlines and advertising because of their bold look-at-me appearance. 4:08 Most of these are utilized at large sizes, but 4:14 a few have been known to also work well in small text sizes. 4:17 Some examples of these include Rockwell, Clarendon, and Egyptienne. 4:21 Next, let's move into the new genre of Sans-serifs. 4:27 These typefaces do not have serifs on their letter forms or 4:31 literally are without serifs. 4:35 We'll look at Grotesque, Neo-grotesque, Humanist, and Geometrics. 4:38 In the late 19th century, we see the rise of Grotesque sans-serifs. 4:44 Though we see sans-serifs as completely normal today, 4:49 don't forget that there wasn't much of a reference for them when they came about. 4:53 The design of an earlier one, Akzidenz-Grotesk, 4:57 has actually been theorized to be derived from Didone 5:01 because the typefaces have similar metrics when the serifs from Didone are removed. 5:04 As we'll see in other genres, sans-serifs are typically low contrast. 5:10 Some examples of grotesque also include Franklin Gothic. 5:15 The Neo-grotesque then arises, 5:20 refining some of the peculiarities in early Grotesques. 5:22 These are some of the more common sans-serif typefaces, and 5:26 Helvetica fits right in there. 5:30 Although there is a desire for simplicity here, 5:33 these aren't always great candidates for body copy because of simplicity and 5:36 similarity in letter forms can often affect legibility at small sizes. 5:40 Other examples include Univers. 5:46 Next, we have Humanists Sans, not to be confused with Humanist serifs. 5:50 And these get back to some calligraphic roots with greater variations 5:55 in line widths. 6:00 These are often the most legible of the sans-serif bunch. 6:01 Hence, their popular use as a website body copy. 6:05 So you may be wondering why are they more legible? 6:09 First, the modulation of the line thickness creates 6:14 distinct character shapes. 6:17 This makes it easier to distinguish, so it's easier to recognize words. 6:19 Second, Humanist letter forms have wide apertures which, for 6:24 example, helps us to avoid confusing a lowercase e as an o. 6:29 Examples of Humanist serifs include Tahoma, Gill Sans, and Frutiger. 6:35 Next, we have our Geometrics, which are quite popular today. 6:41 As the name implies, 6:46 their letter forms are based on geometric shapes like circles and squares. 6:47 Examples include Futura, Bank Gothic, and Gotham. 6:53 Now, we'll move into our final genre of scripts, 6:58 which are typefaces based on handwriting. 7:01 We'll subset this genre into formal and casual scripts. 7:04 Formal scripts are based on letter forms from writing masters in the 17th and 7:10 18th centuries. 7:14 They have some contrast between thick and thin as they were inspired by 7:16 the way a quill or nimble pen would handle the letter forms. 7:21 They tend to be more elegant, and work well for events like weddings today. 7:25 Casual scripts are a bitter freer and, well, casual. 7:30 They tend to be a more lighthearted or 7:35 easygoing than their serious, eloquent counterparts. 7:37 The contrast can range from low to high depending on the typeface. 7:41 They were often inspired by the way a brush or 7:47 marker would handle the letter forms. 7:49 All right, that was a lot to cover. 7:52 I hope it helps you get to know type a little better so 7:55 we can make smarter choices down the road. 7:58 Also, think about if there is a certain genre 8:01 that you naturally gravitate towards. 8:04 In the next video, we'll look at designing for print versus digital. 8:06
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